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What Were Terrence Malick & Christian Bale Doing At The Austin City Limits Festival?

by Simon Dang
September 17, 2011 2:30 AM
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The Austin City Limits Music Festival this weekend was the scene for a rare photograph of renowned recluse Terrence Malick, who was spotted with Christian Bale and a camera crew by a handful of tech-savvy attendees who duly tweeted details and photos of their appearance. The duo are, of course, slated to reunite for a mysterious project that also has relative unknown Haley Bennett on board but we weren't expecting many updates on its development, at least until Bale completed production on Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises."

The real reasons behind Malick and Bale's appearance at the Austin music festival is ultimately anyone's guess but the odd sighting recalls a story late last year, which reported that Malick was working on a Jerry Lee Lewis-related project with his "The Tree of Life" star Brad Pitt and Natalie Portman. Could the mysterious Bale/Bennett project simply be an updated iteration of the developing Lewis film?

Our previous story also uncovered that Malick had worked on "his own version of 'Great Balls of Fire,' " the 1989 biopic of the rock star that toplined Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder, with his script described by producer Adam Fields as "much darker" than the finished film. We'd predicted that aspects of that script may very well feature in the Lewis project, with this appearance by Malick with Bale at ACL surely suggesting that -- if it's not in fact the mysterious project with Bale and Bennett -- a music-centric feature of some sort is on Malick's radar.

Despite reports of a camera crew being in tow, we're doubtful that any serious lensing took place here. It's more likely that the duo were simply doing some early prepping and researching, a practice not unusual for Malick and his lead thespians. Remember when Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were spotted by Bartlesville natives, preceding even Affleck's casting for the film? We're probably just as clueless on that film (which co-stars Javier Bardem, Olga Kurylenko, Barry Pepper, Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz) now as we were then, so it's doubtful we'll get answers about this project any time soon.

For more tweets and photos (including our headlining one) from ACL attendees of Malick and Bale's appearance, TheFilmStage have a fairly detailed summary that is worth a look. For the record as well, it looks like the duo's Friday schedule -- or at least, artists where the duo were visibly backstage for -- included Bright Eyes, Pretty Lights and Coldplay. Not a Yeezy fan between them then?

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More: Actors, Actresses, Terrence Malick, Haley Bennett

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  • Ian | September 19, 2011 6:59 AMReply

    Better enjoy that footage while you can...

  • carrie | September 18, 2011 8:31 AMReply

    there is even a video with Malick( he's not a shy guy here) directing Bale in the middle of the crowd

  • Jimbo | September 18, 2011 1:40 AMReply

    Also seen at Cut Copy and Iron and Wine.

  • blah | September 17, 2011 11:35 AMReply

    Bennett, Malick, Bale, and cameras were all over the place today;-results=5

  • carrie | September 17, 2011 9:14 AMReply

    they're again at ACL fest

  • hank | September 17, 2011 7:11 AMReply

    it's not the Jerry Lee Lewis thing.

  • Cabot | September 17, 2011 5:14 AMReply

    It's good to see Christian Bale doing more movies. We see too little of him.

  • Benjamin | September 17, 2011 4:23 AMReply

    The only thing I've learned from this article is that Terrence Malick and Christian Bale listen to shitty music.

    Still exciting.

  • carrie | September 17, 2011 3:14 AMReply

    @buntyhoven: Malick is the director of 2nd unit for THE DARK KNIGHT RISES (LOL) it's Bruce Wayne backstage just Bane's invasion

  • buntyhoven | September 17, 2011 2:58 AMReply

    Christian Bale is Chris Martin in Terrence Malick's "Yellow: The Coldplay Story".

    But isn't Bale a bit old to be playing Lewis, considering that the major scandals and whatnot occurred in Lewis' early 20s?

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